0989: "Cryogenics"

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Clayh
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0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Clayh » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:04 am UTC

Image

http://xkcd.com/989/

Alt Text: 'Welcome to the future! Nothing's changed.' was the slogan of my astonishingly short-lived tech startup.

It's a time machine that takes 60 minutes to bring you forward an hour in time!
EDIT: I'm not good at this picture linking stuff, am I?

Angrist
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Angrist » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:07 am UTC

Obviously Astronaut Stewart from Planet of the Apes is in the cryo chamber right behind the guy's head. (That's why it's not opening - there was an air leak and she's desiccated now.)

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KShrike
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby KShrike » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:18 am UTC

Am I the only one who saw this coming?
What's the 1000th going to be like, since we are like 11 away?
What's with this new surge of Randall actually being funny?
On 10/10/10, My Little Pony started to appeal to adult males. Ya rly!
Forget the /b/ memes, and go watch the show and see what I mean. After all, the /b/ memes exist because the show itself is so cleverly written. Check it out!

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Coyne » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:24 am UTC

Uh-oh. Looks like nothing much is changing 'til 895,000 AD or so.
In all fairness...

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Kick
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Kick » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:26 am UTC

KShrike wrote:Am I the only one who saw this coming?
What's the 1000th going to be like, since we are like 11 away?
What's with this new surge of Randall actually being funny?

It hadn't crossed my mind in the slightest, but then again, I'm not very intelligent.
Maybe it's like the lead up to the ending of The Great Dictator, he'll be funny for a long time, and then at the end give a shockingly poignant and inspiring speech.
I'm never sarcastic.

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zarathud
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby zarathud » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:27 am UTC

The right answer is to develop life extension. Then you get to help build the future AND live in it.
Last edited by zarathud on Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:30 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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rhomboidal
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:30 am UTC

I'd keep fast-forwarding into the future until the world developed personal jetpacks. And a la carte cable.
Last edited by rhomboidal on Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:32 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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KShrike
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby KShrike » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:31 am UTC

Kick wrote:
KShrike wrote:Am I the only one who saw this coming?
What's the 1000th going to be like, since we are like 11 away?
What's with this new surge of Randall actually being funny?

It hadn't crossed my mind in the slightest, but then again, I'm not very intelligent.
Maybe it's like the lead up to the ending of The Great Dictator, he'll be funny for a long time, and then at the end give a shockingly poignant and inspiring speech.


If he does this, he's an idiot.
And I know he's not one, so he won't.
On 10/10/10, My Little Pony started to appeal to adult males. Ya rly!
Forget the /b/ memes, and go watch the show and see what I mean. After all, the /b/ memes exist because the show itself is so cleverly written. Check it out!

MathUhhhSaurus
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby MathUhhhSaurus » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:33 am UTC

So does this mean I'm still allowed to freeze myself?

Radical Pi
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Radical Pi » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:44 am UTC

MathUhhhSaurus wrote:So does this mean I'm still allowed to freeze myself?


Only if you won't be contributing anything to society if you don't freeze yourself

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aldonius
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby aldonius » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:46 am UTC

Tragedy of the commons in action!

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Oracle
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Oracle » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:07 am UTC

But what did they learn about the Higgs Boson?
"Get the facts first. You can distort them later."
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby A_of_s_t » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:10 am UTC

I feel like the text to joke ratio was far too high for this comic. Interesting concept though.
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RobyMcAndrew
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby RobyMcAndrew » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:02 am UTC

Most of the Engineers I know would freeze the customer, so we could delay the ship date (just got this cool feature to add - I only need to refactor the main loop a bit....)

Ronfar
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Ronfar » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:12 am UTC

This is pretty much what happened to the space empire in Orson Scott Card's novel + story collection The Worthing Saga... the more important and successful you were, the more time you got to spend in cryogenic stasis, so all the people who were the best at doing things effectively disappeared from society.
- Doug

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CorruptUser
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:23 am UTC

I believe that, by law, if you are frozen, so are your assets. None of this 'leaving $10 in the bank and ending up with a few billion in 1000 years' nonsense.

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:26 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I believe that, by law, if you are frozen, so are your assets. None of this 'leaving $10 in the bank and ending up with a few billion in 1000 years' nonsense.

How can there possibly be laws covering that already?
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What would Baron Harkonnen do?

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Proginoskes » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:56 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:I believe that, by law, if you are frozen, so are your assets. None of this 'leaving $10 in the bank and ending up with a few billion in 1000 years' nonsense.

How can there possibly be laws covering that already?


Time travelling lawyers from the future. (The ultimate evil.)

OTOH, we mathematicians could benefit from this; set up a program to search for R(5,5), sleep while it runs, then wake up and get the answer.

MathUhhhSaurus
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby MathUhhhSaurus » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:05 am UTC

Radical Pi wrote:
MathUhhhSaurus wrote:So does this mean I'm still allowed to freeze myself?


Only if you won't be contributing anything to society if you don't freeze yourself


wait. Sorry...4 am..still studying for an 8 am exam. Can't process your statement. Where's my caffeine?

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:10 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I believe that, by law, if you are frozen, so are your assets. None of this 'leaving $10 in the bank and ending up with a few billion in 1000 years' nonsense.



or the fact that interest is slower than inflation so even if you did have billions, it would be technically worth less that what you had when you went in anyway.

nich_chin
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby nich_chin » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:18 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I believe that, by law, if you are frozen, so are your assets. None of this 'leaving $10 in the bank and ending up with a few billion in 1000 years' nonsense.


Sounds like the British Pensions System. You leave the country and live in a place where the Cost of Living is lower and they stop giving you increments meant to fight inflation.

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StClair
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby StClair » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:20 am UTC

Of course, this is just a more elaborate form of "I'm gonna take a nap while you (fix dinner, get the tent set up, etc etc), so I can wake up in a couple of hours and benefit from the work that everyone else did."
For some reason, people who make a habit of this tend to not be liked or included in stuff once others catch on.

Tova
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Tova » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:55 am UTC

KShrike wrote:What's with this new surge of Randall actually being funny?


I know! He's on a roll, huzzah!

yk4ever
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby yk4ever » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:12 am UTC

There's a short story "I'm Feeling Lucky" by the Russian sci-fi writer Leonid Kaganov with an almost identical plot.

Paranoid forum policy forbids links, but you can find the (okayish) English translation it if you google for "kaganov i'm lucky".

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shever
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby shever » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:15 am UTC

The biggest unanswered question is - what happened to White Hat's hat during the 30 years? Clearly something has changed in the future - humankind has evolved to the stage where headgear is no longer necessary!

hamjudo
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby hamjudo » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:00 am UTC

I just want to skip winters. Can I do that?

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AvatarIII
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:08 am UTC

shever wrote:The biggest unanswered question is - what happened to White Hat's hat during the 30 years? Clearly something has changed in the future - humankind has evolved to the stage where headgear is no longer necessary!


why do you assume that future-greeter is WHG?

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby radtea » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:41 pm UTC

MathUhhhSaurus wrote:So does this mean I'm still allowed to freeze myself?


Only if you believe you're a being of a different kind from everyone else, so you have reason to believe that you'll be doing something everyone else won't do.

Otherwise: make your behaviour the rule, because it will be. To believe otherwise is to deny that what a thing is causes what it does: you'd be assuming that even though you and the next guy are both of the same kind you're going to behave one way and they are going to do something completely different. It's like assuming if you drop two rocks that one's gonna fall down and the other'll march around singing the Horst Wessel Song.
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peewee_RotA
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby peewee_RotA » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:23 pm UTC

Anyone else notice that the box with the little tube changes position? In the first few cells it is at the foot of the device and whens he wakes up it is at the head.

I can't imagine that any engineers could have redesigned the pod if they were all sleeping. Unless you consider that any engineers in training may have been improving the design for themselves before climbing in. Not sure how hot-swappable parts are on cryogenics machines.

Trinalsis
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Trinalsis » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:38 pm UTC

hamjudo wrote:I just want to skip winters. Can I do that?
Yes, but only by freezing yourself alive, which may or may not miss the point depending on why you want to do so.

Asco
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Asco » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:39 pm UTC

aldonius wrote:Tragedy of the commons in action!

Is this really a tragedy of the commons though? There would have to be a positive externality on engineers doing work on smartphones, and other stuff. While R&D
is a positive externality, it's not big enough for this to occur entirely: As more and more scientists decide to freeze themselves, supply would drop, and you would see the wage of scientists rise to accomodate the falling supply until you hit a new equilibrium where the marginal scientist was indifferent between cryogenic freezing and staying in the present and being rich.

AvatarIII wrote:or the fact that interest is slower than inflation so even if you did have billions, it would be technically worth less that what you had when you went in anyway.

Using the TIPS-spread, which is a way to gauge the markets expectations of inflation in the US, it is true that there is a negative real yield on US government bonds at the moment. This is, however, a very rare situation that won't last forever. Historically the inflation rate in the US has been around 2 percent, while the yield on bonds has been around 6 percent. So while it is true that you have to remember to adjust for inflation, that doesn't mean you can't make a lot of money investing it if you could just skip ahead in time (I'm, assuming here that smartphone girl is the only person getting frozen, since I have no idea what effects cryogenic freezing would have on long term rates. It would probably lower them, but that's pure speculation).

Umm... Guess I better mention that I liked the comic :mrgreen:

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby UniqueScreenname » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:40 pm UTC

I started writing a paper on this once, and I found out it's actually cryonics. Cryogenics is producing very low temperatures, hence the "gen".
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aldonius
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby aldonius » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:47 pm UTC

Asco wrote:Is this really a tragedy of the commons though? ... As more and more scientists decide to freeze themselves, supply would drop, and you would see the wage of scientists rise to accomodate the falling supply until you hit a new equilibrium where the marginal scientist was indifferent between cryogenic freezing and staying in the present and being rich.

Fair call, though the comic does explicitly state that no one has been building anything new. I guess this is where comic and reality diverge. :?

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby mfb » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:07 pm UTC

aldonius wrote:Fair call, though the comic does explicitly state that no one has been building anything new. I guess this is where comic and reality diverge. :?

Don't forget that the market for scientists is not instant. And some individual scientists are not enough to find something new. So if too many of them are frozen before the market reacts...


Really nice comic :)

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby DarCK » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:14 pm UTC

aldonius wrote:Tragedy of the commons in action!


I don't think this quite fits tragedy of the commons. It's more like let someone else do it. So no one makes happen what every one is waiting for.

I'm not sure if I've heard it put into a catchy phrase yet.

Cease the day!

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby DarCK » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:15 pm UTC

Ronfar wrote:This is pretty much what happened to the space empire in Orson Scott Card's novel + story collection The Worthing Saga... the more important and successful you were, the more time you got to spend in cryogenic stasis, so all the people who were the best at doing things effectively disappeared from society.


So kinda a reverse idiocracy?

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby DarCK » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:26 pm UTC

I thought about this scenario and time travel before. All the doc browns keep skipping to the future to get cool tech that never gets made because time travel is easier than stopping aging etc. The end result being an group of time travelers preventing the discovery of time travel to force the creation of other technologies.

Hope I make it to life extension and personality backup. It will be sad for which ever is the last great mind that doesn't make it.
Last edited by DarCK on Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Unclevertitle
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Unclevertitle » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:33 pm UTC

"Welcome to the future! Nothing's changed," is almost as disappointing a thing to hear in the morning as "Wake up! You're a clone!"

I apparently can't post actual links here ([url] is off) so here it is in plain text plus a spoilered image:
URL: http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/17p20/
Spoiler:
Image

Asco
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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby Asco » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:44 pm UTC

aldonius wrote:
Asco wrote:Is this really a tragedy of the commons though? ... As more and more scientists decide to freeze themselves, supply would drop, and you would see the wage of scientists rise to accomodate the falling supply until you hit a new equilibrium where the marginal scientist was indifferent between cryogenic freezing and staying in the present and being rich.

Fair call, though the comic does explicitly state that no one has been building anything new. I guess this is where comic and reality diverge. :?


Well, it is theoretically possible that all scientists value going to the future over any wage they could get now. The scenario still wouldn't happen though, even if the scientists did not care about wage at all, because whenever someone is frozen not only does the marginal product of the remaining scientists go up, but (and this is really what the comic is about) the expected value of going to the future also decreases. Taken to the extreme there would be one scientist left in the present, who would get no payoff for going.

mfb wrote:Don't forget that the market for scientists is not instant. And some individual scientists are not enough to find something new. So if too many of them are frozen before the market reacts...

The forward looking scientist would know this, and stay behind anyway :)
Also: I think there would be diminishing returns to the research of the marginal scientist, such that the fewer there are the more ideas there are left for the rest to come up with.
This is by no means certain though, because of the nonrival nature of most knowledge.

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Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Postby VoronX » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:37 pm UTC

Am I the only one this reminds of Vernor Vinge's Marooned in Realtime?
I've never seen this subject explored in such an extreme manner elsewhere...
A humble Pilgrim0 awash in the Sea1 of TimeS, unstuck, observing the wonderful Stars therin . . . waiting for IT.
0 - Billy
1 - BIG
S - Like a River2?

2 - small, and a host of other adjectives


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